Dyeing With Indigo

Today I have a little indigo dyeing going on. I needed a light blue for a piece I have been commissioned to create, a blue to echo the Salish Sea. Indigo dyeing requires a lot of time and preparation. Yesterday I worked on creating the stock solution. Today was creating the working vat and then […]

via Indigo Dyeing — Handmade in Canada

Blue

blog indigo

Blue. Yes everyone we are back to our regular programming. Back to wool, silk and cotton. Back to art, fine craft, and handmade.

The last two weeks have been indigo intensive. It is an outside endeavour that needs to be completed before it gets too cold. This week I attacked the scrap pile, small pieces of fabric that I had been dyed colors I didn’t love, pieces of selvedge edge, and remnants that were awkward shapes and sizes. Into the vat they went and out of the vat they came in shades of blue, green and everything in between (with a little shibori thrown in for good measure!). That is except for the brown piece of silk on the left hand side.

I have yet to figure out what has happened with this piece of silk fabric. It is either dyed in cutch or arbutus and it seems to be resisting the indigo dye. It has been dyed three times more than every other piece shown here and it shows just a mere haze of indigo dyeing. I will have to test this in the future to see if it happens again or if it is one of those strange “one off” dyeing experiences.

.

.

.

.

.

Ads on this site belong to WordPress.

Taking a Break With Some Beads

b_beading_7726 aThe knitting order is done. A painting has just been finished (post to come soon!). Panels have been primed with gesso. It seemed like a good time to mix things up a bit and spend some time on fibre art.

b_beading_7727 aI’ve taken a different approach to this piece compared to everything I did in 2014. First, this one is small; 10 inches by 12.5 inches or so (unmounted). Secondly, it is completely unplanned, it was a case of drawing out the image with stitch. I needed to loosen up the pieces to enjoy working on them and let them evolve and not have rules. I needed to shrink the size of the pieces as on large works the bead work was being lost in the scale. The beads worked wonderfully when viewing a piece in person (lots of “wow” factor), but on a computer screen the detail was completely lost. Unfortunately the reality now is that work needs to look better on a screen than in reality, that is how shows are chosen. So in keeping with “playing the game” I am going small with the fibre art pieces so that the beaded detail shows.

Now I am starting to flesh the image out with glass seed beads. Each bead is about 1mm in depth. Time consuming work. Last night I sat down to work on the piece, BBC documentaries playing in the background (slightly addicted to BBC docs!), and when I finally looked up at the clock it was 4:00 am. What is more, only a small portion of the area is done. Slow, slow work…and morning comes way too quickly when you work until 4:00 am or later.

b_beading_7728 aThe piece is again made of naturally dyed threads and fabrics that I have hand dyed in micro batches. The base piece is cotton dyed in marigold, the blue thread in the image above is indigo. There are also, to date, appearances of logwood, cutch, and a funky lac/madder combo (seems to be a weird personal favorite on cotton….no idea why).

I am using up bits and pieces from my stash of naturally dyed materials; making what I currently have work before I end up with an unmanageable amount of naturally dyed fabrics and threads. Next in the “stash busting” will be using some of the eco-printed fabrics, perhaps incorporating stitching and beading (of course!), and maybe going with creating functional items for a change.

Fibre art by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com
.

.

Also check out the project I am building at
www.handmade-canada.com .

A project being built for for Canadian artists, artisans, writers, musicians and growers.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Ads on this site belong to WordPress.

Indigo!

I’ve been wanting to do some indigo dyeing for quite some time. I was always waiting for the perfect time and the perfect project. As the months (or maybe more than a year!) passed I realized that the perfect time or project was never going to happen. Instead of simply shelving the idea I chose to tackle indigo dyeing on the busiest possible week ever.

In between shooting, editing, knitting, volunteering and school field trips (including swimming with three different classes in the span of two days) this is what happened……..

yarn waiting to dye

yarn waiting to dye

I prepped some wool yarn, cotton yarn, cotton threads of various thicknesses and some cotton fabrics. Some of the yarn was dyed previously in tansy to create a yellow to over-dye with hopes of achieving green.

into the indigo dye vat

into the indigo dye vat

Into the vat all the materials went. The tansy wool yarn was immersed for about 10 minutes, while everything else stayed in for about 30 minutes.

And then the fun began…..

yarn just pulled out of the dye bath

yarn just pulled out of the dye bath

The yarn only starts to truly change color as it emerges from the dye bath and is exposed to the air. It starts out green…..

indigo dyeingthen turns an aqua color………

indigo dyeingand finally blue.

Luckily Mark came home from work just in time to take these pictures as the yarn was being pulled out of the dye bath.

dyeing on the front lawn

I ended up with quite a variety of blue items which will be a lot of fun to work with over the coming weeks. It is nice to add a new range of colors into my knitting and stitching.

dyed wool yarn

dyed wool yarn

 

This is wool yarn. The yarn on the left entered the dye bath as natural white, while the yarn on the right had been dyed previously in tansy.

cotton yarnThis is cotton yarn dyed in segments to get color variations. What a disaster this was to get untangled after dyeing and washing. I had preplanned the segments, rather than just a random dyeing, perhaps I need to figure out a better game plan for next time.

indigo scarf detail

indigo scarf detail

Just for fun I dyed a gauze scarf that I had hemmed up earlier. This is a detail. It looks beautiful when it is worn. I think this one will remain “mine”. A perfect scarf to wear while walking a rocky beach lined with driftwood.